06/21/2011 LI: "Lessons from Kansas City"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Limited Information, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.

Yeah, doesnt feel like a very strong article. 
The truly ridiculous thing is that people really *believe* they are getting an extra card by choosing to draw instead of play.  They are not.  Some of this can be attributed to the faulty logic which makes it appear as if you get an extra card on the draw, but most of it is just lemmings blindly following someone who managed to be successful despite misplaying.
The truly ridiculous thing is that people really *believe* they are getting an extra card by choosing to draw instead of play.  They are not.  Some of this can be attributed to the faulty logic which makes it appear as if you get an extra card on the draw, but most of it is just lemmings blindly following someone who managed to be successful despite misplaying.


Wat?  Other than pointless semantic quibbling, do you really draw a huge distinction between A) getting an additional card vs. getting no additional cards, and B) getting no additional cards vs. getting one less card?  In both cases the guy opting to draw is up a card.  Nitting about whether you can accurately call this automatic +1 card advantage "extra" or not is kind of missing the forest for the trees.
We're talking about the difference between drawing first and drawing second, not the difference between 7 and 8.  The minimal advantage gained by drawing first is vastly outweighed by the chance to play land first.

To see the fault in the logic, imagine that the player who is on the play is actually taking a "free" turn before the game starts, or perhaps that he is simply allowed to put a land from his hand into play before the game begins.  Player 2 draws a card to start his turn, then Player 1 draws a card at the start of his turn, both have seen 8 cards so far.
I'm from the camp that was taught to always play first.  In my view, even if  you're playing a slow, controlling deck, the only way you're going to lose is if you get overrun by a fast deck.  In that case, you don't want to give them the first turn.  Also, you probably have a bunch of expensive spells in your deck, so you want to play them as soon as possible.  

Now, the downside is the mulligan.  Mulliganing on the play is just so crippling that it tends to make me keep crappy hands more often than I should. 

Also, I'm on the side of Volt Charge.  It's so much better, and it keeps you from passing a strong red signal (I value red very highly in NMS draft).  And if everyone else is waiting until MBS to commit, it's worth thinking about how this affects signaling. 
The assessment of Pith Driller confuses me. In the tournament coverage and in this article, the writers pass off Pith Driller as a sleeper hit in limited. Yet all of the pros have recognized it as being great since the start, for example with LSV rating it highly in his set review half a month before NPH even came out. When pros acknowledge how good it is before it's even released, how can you say that it's a sleeper hit?
@xJudicatorx

Whoever draws will be up a card on his turn, and even on his opponent's; he will be down a land drop on his opponent's turn, and even on land drops on his own
Whoever plays will be even on his turn, and down a card on his opponent's; he will be even on land drops on his opponent's turn, but up a land drop on his own

basically
whoever gets to play first gets to play his early stuff half a turn before his opponent (because land drops are the limiting factor)
whoever gets to draw first gets to play his late stuff half a turn before his opponent (because he draws them half a turn sooner)

As far as deciding which of these is the more powerful effect, I think I will take the pros' opinions over yours.  Sorry 
Well put, RKSeattle.
Fair enough.  I think you'll see this silly phase has passed in 2 weeks or so though.
@xJudicatorx

Whoever draws will be up a card on his turn, and even on his opponent's; he will be down a land drop on his opponent's turn, and even on land drops on his own
Whoever plays will be even on his turn, and down a card on his opponent's; he will be even on land drops on his opponent's turn, but up a land drop on his own

basically
whoever gets to play first gets to play his early stuff half a turn before his opponent (because land drops are the limiting factor)
whoever gets to draw first gets to play his late stuff half a turn before his opponent (because he draws them half a turn sooner)

As far as deciding which of these is the more powerful effect, I think I will take the pros' opinions over yours.  Sorry


Exactly.  If you think the game will come down to waiting to draw the spell you need, or waiting to draw the land to cast it, then choosing to draw first for an extra half-card is the way to go.  This is especially true for a deck with cheap removal and expensive threats, where you can be pretty sure that you'll be able to exchange your cards one-for-one with your opponent, so you want as many as you can get.

The thing that bugs me about explanations like Juza's is that saying "I want to play first if I'm aggressive and draw first if I'm controlling" ignores the opponent's deck.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the design of the plane of Golamo in the Great Designer Search 2!
My Decks
These are the decks I have assembled at the moment:
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Kicker Aggro (Invasion Block) Sunforger/Izzet Guildmage Midrange (Ravnica/Time Spiral/Xth Standard) Dragonstorm Combo (Time Spiral/Lorwyn/Xth Standard) Bant Midrange (Lorwyn/Shards/M10 Standard)
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Angel Resurrection Casual Soul Sisters Sindbad's Adventures with Djinn of Wishes Sphinx-Bone Wand Buyback Morph (No Instants or Sorceries) Cabal Coffers Control Zombie Aggro Hungry, Hungry Greater Gargadon/War Elemental Flashfires/Boil/Ruination - Boom! Call of the Wild Teysa, Orzhov Scion with Twilight Drover, Sun Titan, and Hivestone Slivers Rebels Cairn Wanderer Knights Only Gold and () Spells Captain Sisay Toolbox Spellweaver Helix Combo Merfolk Wizards Izzet Guildmage/The Unspeakable Arcane Combo Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and his Wizards Creatureless Wild Research/Reins of Power Madness Creatureless Pyromancer Ascension Anarchist Living Death Anvil of Bogardan Madness Shamen with Goblin Game/Wound Reflection Combo Mass damage Quest for Pure Flame Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle/Clear the Land with 40+ Lands Doubling Season Thallids Juniper Order Ranger Graft/Tokens Elf Archer Druids Equilibrium/Aluren Combo Experiment Kraj Combo Reap Combo False Cure/Kavu Predator Combo Savra, Queen of the Golgari Sacrifice/Dredge Elf Warriors Eight-Post Sneak Attack Where Ancients Tread Zur the Enchanter with Opal creatures Tamanoa/Kavu Predator/Collapsing Borders Esper Aggro Mishra, Artificer Prodigy and his Darksteel Reactor Theft and Control Unearth Aggro Soul's Fire Vampires Devour Tokens Phytohydra with Powerstone Minefield Treefolk Friendly? Questing Phelddagrif Slivers Dragon Arch Fun I'm probably forgetting a few...
This isn't related to the article, but in Steve's coverage of the Greg Jolin vs. Sam Friedman Quarterfinals, he says this:

"The stolen Tangle Angler died as a result of Grafted Exoskeleton becoming unattached from it..."

Don't they have judges watching these matches?  Poor Greg Jolin.  The controller of the Grafted Exoskeleton has to sacrifice the "unattached" permanent.  Since Sam didn't control the Tangle Angler, he couldn't sacrifice it.  Greg certainly didn't have to sacrifice it.  Did it really happen that way?
This isn't related to the article, but in Steve's coverage of the Greg Jolin vs. Sam Friedman Quarterfinals, he says this:

"The stolen Tangle Angler died as a result of Grafted Exoskeleton becoming unattached from it..."

Don't they have judges watching these matches?  Poor Greg Jolin.  The controller of the Grafted Exoskeleton has to sacrifice the "unattached" permanent.  Since Sam didn't control the Tangle Angler, he couldn't sacrifice it.  Greg certainly didn't have to sacrifice it.  Did it really happen that way?


I guess they both just remembered "when unattached creature dies" and never questioned the details.
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